• Joseph G. Dawson
Part of the Studies in Military and Strategic History book series (SMSH)


In his chapter, Edward Coffman helps counteract the view (advanced by Ronald Spector1 and others) that ‘Neither the Army nor the Navy was at all prepared for the kind of war they would have to fight’ in 1917–18. Coffman argues instead that most of the top US Army officers were well prepared for the major European war in which they participated. His thesis is supported by appropriate examples. Of particular value is his excellent description and analysis of the books and readings that were assigned to American officers who attended the Staff College at Fort Leavenworth and the Army War College. These reading assignments can be seen as part of the growing pattern in the US Army to rely on formal schooling of its officers, who came into the service from several sources — West Point, other military colleges, and by direct commission — in order to lay a common foundation among the officer corps. This common foundation, especially the schooling at Leavenworth, clearly improved the professionalism of American officers between 1903 and 1917.2


West Pointer Staff College Officer Corps General Staff Army Officer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Military Studies Institute of Texas A & M University 1990

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  • Joseph G. Dawson

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